The Trump administration’s newest sanctions against Iran reinstate an embargo on a few of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s leading companies that President Barack Obama lifted as a part of the nuclear deal and will further expose the Iranian dictator’s corrupt economic empire.
Khamenei oversees a vast community of corporate and monetary assets worth $200 billion, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies estimates. Trump signed a government order this week giving the Treasury Department broad powers to sanction Khamenei, those tied to him, and anybody doing enterprise with him.
The three most beneficial organizations in Khamenei’s financial network are the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (also known as EIKO, or Setad in Farsi), the Mostazafan Foundation, and Astan Quds Razavi. The regime consolidated these bonyads, Farsi for “foundations,” in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, by which Khamenei’s predecessor, Ruhollah Khomeini, seized thousands of real estate belongings after his followers overthrew the government of the Western-backed shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Officially, the bonyads function the equal of not-for-profit organizations.
Today, bonyads act as fronts for massive holding firms and are run by officials handpicked by Khamenei. Of those organizations, Khamenei keeps a very tight grip on Setad, which saw important development after he was put in as supreme chief in 1989. It’s believed to control belongings in almost every sector of the Iranian economy, from banks and power plants to building and soft drinks firms, with an estimated value of $95 billion, in line with a 2013 Reuters report.